Thursday 30 August 2018

The Age of Wonder

What do you mean, you’re not gay? How on earth do you ever expect to get a decent job? The old advice to work hard, keep your nose clean and make yourself indispensable would seem, in this new, identitarian world, to be positively antediluvian. Today it is not even about who you are, but what you are. Forget your dewy-eyed longing for a meritocracy, the mediocracy is where it’s at; a few years ago companies were being advised to hire for diversity before talent on the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy that as successful companies were often diverse, therefore their success must be because of their diversity.

This is as ridiculous a stance as Tony Blair’s let’s-send-everybody-to-university policy, founded on the notion that as graduates, in general, up to the New Labour era, earned more, thus an automatic increase in prosperity could be magicked-up simply by removing the barriers to entry. Grade inflation, already worryingly accelerated, became rampant. And what happened? The market responded by creating worthless degrees from pop-up, ersatz universities and threw a generation of eager young people on the employability scrapheap.

You would think we would learn. Teach everybody the same rigorous basics, select for specialisation, emphasise important STEM subjects, but simultaneously encourage the less academic to learn lifelong, vitally important, non-academic skills. But most importantly, build an educated, informed, realistically aspirational new workforce. Any country which relies on attracting foreign workers to do work well within the compass of its own citizens is pursuing a folly which may well be about to be realised when they make a similarly monumental fuck-up over a botched Brexit.

But back to the identity bullshit. Disney has been in bother for casting a non-disabled actor in the role of a disabled character and BBC is currently taking flak for not managing to cast an actual elephant man in the role of the Elephant man. A caller to Nick Ferrari this morning even sort of managed to suggest that only Joseph [John] Merrick himself could have given a faithful rendering of his life’s experiences. She seemed unhinged enough to be capable of being indignant that Merrick, who died in 1890 wasn’t offered the lead role in the 1980 movie. See what happens when your audience is innumerate?

And as if the idiocy of identity politics isn’t apparent enough a BBC executive is once again publicly calling, in the name of diversity, for the replacement of white men on the telly-box who present with no gender confusion, disablement or other victim status,. How long before they are demanding Daniel Day-Lewis gives back his Oscar and other awards for My Left Foot on account of him having full control of both feet?

Yeah, I think we've got all the bases covered here.

When civilisation falls, when transport and technology vanish, when the human rights industry eventually has us all eating each other and all that is left of the western world is a metaphorical giant left foot bearing the legend of Ozymandias, once king of kings, will future historians wonder what led to the ending of the reformation, the age of enlightenment, the industrial revolution, the space age, the information superhighway and all the wonders created by millions of brilliant minds... or will they just be too stupid?

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